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Introducing IWC's Species of the Week

These are uncertain times.  The Covid 19 pandemic forces many of our IWC community around the world to live and work remotely, away from families, friends and colleagues.  Meetings, including our own Scientific Committee, will not be held in-person but virtually, as far as is possible, and we wait to see if our biennial Commission meeting will go ahead as scheduled in September.

Many observers have spoken of the need to reassess our relationship with our environment post-Covid 19, to ensure the vast global recovery programme that will be needed takes a new approach and considers One Health – human, environmental and economic.  This will be a big challenge. 

In the meantime, the IWC offers a very small challenge – hopefully a fun diversion for you, your children and anyone else sharing these tough times with you.  Each week we will spotlight a cetacean species and ask three questions about that species.  The answers will be found in a link to the IWC’s Whale Watching Handbook, a resource to support sustainable whale watching all over the world. 

As well as testing or extending our knowledge of cetaceans, we hope that this will encourage you to think beyond these current, difficult circumstances and to the future when we can roam freely outside, watch whales, dolphins, porpoises and other wildlife once more, and with newfound appreciation of the variety and value of our environment.

We start, perhaps predictably, with the blue whale, the largest animal that ever lived.
Here are three questions about the blue whale:  how big is its heart, what does it usually eat, and how loud is its call?

You will find the answers somewhere on the Blue Whale page of the Whale Watching Handbook. 

Next week, we will publish the answers and pose three questions on the new Species of the Week: the humpback whale.  If you would like the chance to see your drawing or photograph of a humpback whale posted on the IWC website, please send artwork (landscape format only please) to communications@iwc.int.

Have a good week and stay safe.